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Is the Shroud of Turin Real? Visit the exhibit and decide.

Reversed image of head from Shroud of Turin
Barrie Schwortz - adapted by Neala McCarten

The Shroud of Turin has been described as the greatest relic in Christendom, but it is permanently stored in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. However, in a bit down-at-the-heels shopping center in Alamogordo is a remarkable exhibit devoted to the Shroud which might be the next best thing to a visit to Turin. It comes with the added benefit of extensive research and documentation about this extraordinary relic.

The story of the examination of the Shroud starts in 1978 with Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., (STURP) the team that completed the first extensive scientific examination of the Shroud of Turin. Barrie M. Schwortz was the Official Documenting Photographer and the photographs you see of the Shroud are usually his. In fact, it is his photographs that form the basis of this unusual exhibit.

The conclusion of STURP was: “... there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately.”

Further: “ We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.” (Source:

The Shroud itself is 3.5 x 14.5 feet. You’ll see a full size photograph of the Shroud taken by Schwortz and a volunteer will explain to you what all the parts of the image show, the tests that were made, and the conclusions that were reached as well as answer your questions about its authenticity.

But it is the image itself that is totally arresting, especially the VP-8 Image Analyzer that actually visualized the 3-D properties on a monitor.

Visitors also learn why the carbon dating of the original cloth showed it was between 1260 and 1390 AD and thus medieval in origin. Basically, the sample was from a corner of the Shroud and was likely added later, perhaps to stabilize the fabric.

The researchers concluded that there are no answers to the question of how the image was produced, or what produced the image. Now, despite all technology, it remains a mystery.

If you go: The exhibit is free and family friendly. It is located at White Sands Mall, 3199 N White Sands Blvd, Suite D1. Current hours are: Tues-Fri 1-6PM, Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 2-4PM
Closed Monday and most holidays Visit for more information

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